Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday won the vote of confidence in the lower house of the parliament. PM won 178 votes in the 341-seat National Assembly, well above the 172 votes he needed to survive.
Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser announced the results. Qaiser said Khan has secured 178 votes, more than those garnered in the 2018 general election.
“178 votes recorded in favor of the resolution and Imran Khan, prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, has obtained the vote of confidence,” Qaiser said.
On Wednesday, PM announced to seek a vote of confidence from the parliament after the Senate setback. His party’s unexpected defeat on a key Senate, the upper house, the seat from the capital Islamabad.
Yousaf Raza Gilani, a joint candidate of the opposition alliance, won the seat in an embarrassing upset.
The ruling party candidate, Hafeez Shaikh, lost despite having a majority in the National Assembly. This indicates the prime minister’s own aides voted for the opposition candidate.
Members of the National Assembly choose senators from Islamabad for a period of six years in a secret ballot.
The 11-party opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), boycotted the vote.
‘Opposition tried to blackmail me’
Later addressing the NA, Prime Minister Khan thanked his party members and allies for the vote. He accused the opposition of “buying” Senate seats.
“The opposition tried to blackmail me to get concession in their corruption cases but I will never come under any pressure,” PM said.
Several opposition leaders are jailed or embroiled in corruption cases as part of the PM’s election promise of “bringing back looted money to the country.”
He urged the election commission to investigate the unlawful exchange of money in the recent Senate election.
“The last two-and-a-half years were the most difficult struggle in my life as they [former rulers] destroyed the major institutions in the country,” PM said.
Meanwhile, a scuffle broke out between opposition leaders and PTI workers outside the parliament ahead of the NA session today. PML-N leaders claimed they were manhandled by PTI supporters outside the Parliament House.
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